For years, disabled individuals have continuously experienced harassment and discrimination from "able" people. Fortunately, the legislators have heard their cry and have forged a law to protect their rights â the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Since it was enacted in 1990, the ADA has been in-charge of claims and complaints made by disabled people who experienced maltreatment because of their condition. If you also have a physical impairment or illness, and you are being discriminated against in the workplace or in public places, you may contact the ADA and file a claim against the responsible parties. However, you may need to know some facts and information regarding ADA claims:
- ADA does not cover all types of illness. The ADA will only cover illnesses and disabilities that are included in the list they have created. If your condition is not included in the list, it means your illness may not be too serious.
- Contrary to beliefs, only a few ADA cases have been filed in state and federal courts. This means that there is a lot of room for your complaint. You do not have to worry that your ADA claim would not be evaluated immediately.
- Before filing a complaint, gather evidence about your situation. If you want to have better chances of having your claim approved, gather important details such as your medical records, information about your offender, and documented information about the discriminatory actions you experienced.
- You should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before taking your case to federal court. The EEOC will first make an initial investigation of your claim before taking it to federal court.
- A disability discrimination attorney is the best partner in filing and pursuing a claim. If you have a severe disability, you may need someone to assist you in the legal process. In this case, a lawyer would be the best choice.
The ADA does not tolerate unsupported complaints. Mere accusations and allegations are not considered by both the EEOC and the ADA unless enough evidence and facts are presented. Once an ADA claim has been approved, the claimant may receive benefits such as:
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Reinstatement or wage increase
- Attorney fees
- Other economic payments
The enactment of the ADA in 1990 was a glimpse of hope for disabled people across the U.S. However, a disabled individual should first have the courage to stand and file a complaint against his offenders before he can enjoy the protection and benefits of the ADA.